In this oasis in the desert northwest of downtown Las Vegas, four small lakes and plenty of trees attract birds year-round.
By Je Anne Strott-Branca | Published: 4/22/2013
This oasis in the desert northwest of downtown Las Vegas has been a dude ranch, a cattle ranch, and a state park. Now it’s a city park that is one of the area’s best birding sites. More than 230 species have been recorded.
Four small lakes and plenty of trees attract birds year-round. Great Blue Herons and Black-crowned Night-Herons nest at Tule Springs Lake, the park’s largest body of water. Other breeding species include Ruddy Duck, Cooper’s Hawk, Phainopepla, and Abert’s Towhee. Migrants such as Yellow-breasted Chat, MacGillivray’s Warbler, and Cassin’s Vireo pass through in spring and fall.
Since 2008, our local Audubon chapter, Red Rock Audubon Society, has been installing artificial nesting burrows for Burrowing Owls at several sites in southern Nevada. So far, 33 burrows have been installed at Floyd Lamb Park, and many young have fledged.
Red Rock Audubon’s field trips to the park are its most popular. The trails are easy to walk, and because the park has nice picnic areas, we keep birding as we eat lunch. Come join us! — Je Anne Strott-Branca
At a Glance
Click on coordinates below to view map: 36°19’22.51″N 115°16’9.98″W
Lakes, trees, grassy parkland.
Mostly flat with small hills. Paved paths wheelchair-accessible.
Year-round: Ruddy Duck, Gambel’s Quail, Great Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Cooper’s Hawk, Anna’s Hummingbird, American Coot, Killdeer, Burrowing Owl, Verdin, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Crissal Thrasher, Phainopepla, Abert’s Towhee, Lesser Goldfinch. Summer: Black-chinned Hummingbird, Lucy’s Warbler, Bullock’s Oriole, Brewer’s Sparrow. Spring and fall: Warbling and Cassin’s Vireos, Olive-sided, Gray, and Dusky Flycatchers, Tennessee, Nashville, Virginia’s, MacGillivray’s, Hooded, Yellow, Black-throated Gray, Townsend’s, and Wilson’s Warblers, Western Tanager, Lazuli and Indigo Buntings, Pine Siskin, Chipping, Clay-colored, Vesper, Lark, and Lincoln’s Sparrows. Lewis’s Woodpecker occasional in fall. Winter: Red-shouldered Hawk, Great Horned and Barn Owls. Rarities: Neotropic Cormorant, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, vagrant eastern warblers.
When to go
Spring and fall best, but anytime of year is good.
Red Rock Audubon bird walks on the third Saturday of each month, 7-9 a.m. June through August, 8-10 a.m. September through May. Longer field trips held five times per year.
City park. Open 8-8, May 1 through Labor Day; 9-5 rest of the year. Admission $6 daily per car, $1 daily to enter on foot, bike, or horse.
Wear comfortable shoes and a hat. Bring sunscreen and plenty of water.
For more info
Mt. Charleston and Kyle Canyon
Due west of Floyd Lamb Park on Kyle Canyon Rd. Great for White-throated Swift, Clark’s Nutcracker, and other mountain birds. Grace’s and Virginia’s Warblers nest here in spring.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
West of Las Vegas off Rt. 159. More than 195,000 acres. Rock Wren, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Phainopepla, Chukar, warblers, quail, and Spotted Towhee.